With the 2018 NFL salary cap set at $177.2 million on Monday, the Jets will maintain a projected $90 million in cap space, second-highest in the league behind the Cleveland Browns, according to a source.
The Jets created more cap space within the last week by cutting defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson — the move became official on Monday — the retirement of running back Matt Forte and declining the option of offensive lineman Ben Ijalana. Those moves created a little more than $18 million in cap space.
The Jets are expected to become major players for free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is expected to command a yearly salary in the range of $25 million to $30 million. If the Jets can’t sign Cousins, the team has other options, including bringing back Josh McCown, who started 13 games last season, and selecting a quarterback with the No. 6 pick of the draft.
The Jets also have an interest in free-agent cornerback Malcolm Butler, one of the more sought-after players at his position.